Valencia wine

by Neil Morris

Torre Oria

Valencia is yet another region that is riding the 'new wave' of Spanish wine-making with confidence and individuality and casting aside a misplaced reputation for being nothing more than a region of mass-produced table wine. Valencia has always been much more than that but now, more than ever, it has discovered a self-belief in its own identity and a new generation of wine makers are pushing the region forward with a youthful bravado.

There are three main Denominaciónes de Origen (DO) for wines in the area: Alicante, Utiel-Requena and Valencia. Cava is also made in Utiel-Requena and Muscat (Moscatell) is produced under the Alicante and Valencia Denominaciónes.

The Valencia D.O. is divided into four sub-regions; Valentino, which is the largest sub-region and located in the northwest of the province; Alto Turia, with its sandy slopes that reach over 1,100 metres above sea-level and is located to the west of Valentino; Moscatel, which has low slopes of only 100 metres and is located to the west of the city of Valencia and Clariano, which is located to the south. The ageing process of wines in this region are shorter than elsewhere, this is due to the extreme weather conditions that speed up the ageing process. The wine makers often bottle the wine early to keep a lighter character to suit the climate of the region.

Torre Oria

Utiel-Requena is a region of extremes; experiencing long hot dry summers and cold winters but the vines here are well-adapted to the conditions. The Bobal grape variety is native to the region and occupies over 80% of the vineyards; this variety of grape is only found in very small quantities outside of this region.

The Alicante D.O. is separated into two sub-regions; Vinalopó, located to the south of the region where red wine production dominates and La Marina, on the northern cost where white wine dominates. Fondillón, which is similar to fortified wine, is also produced in the Alicante D.O. and is made from Monastrell grapes. To achieve its flavour the wine is aged for long periods of time in oak barrels. Fondillón is typically strong with a medium level of sweetness and is drank as a dessert wine.

bodega cherubino

As with the other regions of Spain, great wines are not exclusively produced by the main D.O. regions and some of the Vino de la Tierra regions can offer some fantastic wines that are crafted without the rules and regulations of the DOs. Of the two VdlT regions in Valencia: Castelló and El Terrerazo, the El Terrerazo estate - owned by the excellent Bodegas Mustiguillo - was awarded D.O.P. status in 2011 for its Finca Terrerazo wine.

Denominaciónes de Origen

valencia do
utiel requena
alicante-do

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